Chinese wine tourism to Australia increased 300% in 2016
Reporting by Naomi Kaplan
Australian tour operator AAT Kings has reported a huge increase in Chinese bookings for Australian wine tours.
Between 2015 and 2016 there was a 300% increase in Chinese bookings for the company's wine tours and a 600% increase between 2013 and 2014.
The first quarter of 2017 has already seen 231 group bookings, which indicates an end-of-year total even bigger than 2016.
38 tours in 2013
242 tours in 2014
253 tours in 2015
760 tours in 2016
NSW is the state to obtain the highest amount of wine tours booked, with a total of 749 and VIC closely behind at a total of 710.
These numbers correlate closely with China becoming Australia’s largest wine export market in 2016 with sales of wine from Australia to China increasing by 51% between 2015 and 2016.
"Younger Chinese nationals have become interested in wine with consumption increasing dramatically since 2012. Although China itself is one of the largest producers of wine, the market appears to prefer the quality and flavour of Australian, French and Chilean wine", ATA Kings notes.
AAT Kings said the usual demographic of Chinese consumers is between 20-40, which can be attributed to the interest in wine of younger Chinese.
"In peak seasons the numbers we take on each tour ranges from 30-43 guests. This is seasonal and has shown an increase in numbers for each tour over the same period."
"The most popular wine tours visit Hunter Valley wineries in NSW and Yarra Valley wineries in Victoria. We also operate touring to the Barossa, Clare Valley and Coonawarra in South Australia, the Tamar Valley in Tasmania and the Margaret River in Western Australia."